Central League title race is Springfield’s to lose

All-Delco linebacker Adam Krauter, left, and Springfield are closing in on the program’s first Central League title in 20 years.

The Springfield-Garnet Valley game was the best I’ve seen all year. I’m a sucker for low scoring and great defense… and that’s what we saw Saturday morning.

Obviously, there was a lot riding in this one. Both teams delivered the goods.

The aftermath: Springfield (8-0, 7-0) can clinch at least a share of the Central League title with a win over Marple Newtown (4-3) Friday night.   If the Cougars get past the Tigers, they’ll have a chance to wrap up a perfect regular season at home against Harriton (1-7) on Halloween night

Haverford (6-2, 5-1) plays at Garnet Valley (6-2, 6-1) Friday night. Sure, both teams have a shot in the Central League, but the bigger picture is the District One Class AAAA playoffs. Neither the Fords or Jags can afford another loss. Because the Central League lasts nine weeks and more than half of the teams are Class AAA teams, three losses probably won’t cut it.  GV’s Week 1 loss to Unionville could come back to haunt them..

Ridley (6-2, 5-2) and Conestoga (6-2,5-2) are hanging around, but like Haverford and Garnet Valley, they’re more concerned about doing what they need to do to ensure they’ll still be playing football in November.

Win and hope for help. That’s what makes this time of year special. Everything counts.

By the way, Haverford and Ridley play in Week 10. The Fords effectively ended the Green Raiders’ season last year.

It should be a fun final two weeks of October.

 

 

Garnet Valley coach Ricci takes leave of absence

 

Mike Ricci has begun a voluntary two-week leave of absence from his position at Garnet Valley.

In an email to Garnet Valley players, parents and coaches,  Ricci apologized for an incident on the sideline during last Friday’s 28-7 win over Penncrest.

Ricci, in a moment of anger, began screaming at one of his players and grabbed his facemask. Moments prior, Ricci fell to his knees and briefly passed out with 7:58 left in the third quarter. Fellow coaches helped him to his feet. Afterward, he said it was “dehydration.” Ricci stayed on the sideline for the remainder of the game.

In the email, Ricci said he was “embarrassed about” the incident involving the player and “it is an action that is completely unwarranted and unnecessary, and it is an action for which I am sincerely sorry.”

Ricci goes on to explain that, per doctor’s recommendation, he is taking two weeks off “from everything,” including his teaching position at the high school, to get his health in order and “recharge.”

“I love my family; I love the players on our team and I love being a part of the Garnet Valley community,” Ricci wrote. “But, when what I’m doing is having that kind of negative effect on so many others, it is a clear signal that I need to change some things.

Offensive coordinator Rich Boyd Jr. will replace Ricci on an interim basis. The Jaguars (6-1, 6-0 Central League) travel to Springfield (7-0, 6-0) Friday night with first place in the Central League on the line.

Ricci has been the head coach at Garnet Valley since 1986, save for one year (1992), when he was an assistant at Widener College. Ricci is one of the most successful football coaches in Delaware County history. He guided the Jaguars to District One Class AAA titles in 2006-07 and the Eastern Pennsylvania Class AAA championship in 2007. The Jaguars have won four Central League titles since joining the league in 2008.

 

 

 

 

Super 7: Week 8

1. Haverford School (5-1)

2. Garnet Valley (6-1)

3. Bonner-Prendergast (7-0)

4. Springfield (7-0)

5. Ridley (5-2)

6.  Academy Park (5-2)

7. Haverford High (5-2)

Under Consideration: Episcopal Academy (4-3), Glen Mills (3-4), Upper Darby (3-4).

The Haverford School retains its No.1 spot after a 22-6 triumph over Malvern Prep. Perhaps the Fords’ biggest test will come Saturday afternoon when they host an undefeated Springside Chestnut Hill team.

Garnet Valley’s 28-7 victory was by no means flawless, but the Jaguars have won six in a row entering their must-see Central League showdown with undefeated Springfield. Speaking of…

Springfield and Bonner-Prendergast swap spots in the Super 7 rankings. The Friars defeated Neumann-Goretti, 30-19, while the Cougars outlasted Upper Darby, 34-33. Had Springfield done what it’s done all season — shut down opponents on defense — they would have stayed put at No. 3. But, I think the Friars are deserving of the No. 3 spot as they prepare for a huge challenge Friday night when they host Archbishop Wood.

Ridley and Academy Park both won their games. The Green Raiders had a tough time against Strath Haven, but emerged 20-14 winners. The Knights, meanwhile, put on a dominating display and blanked Interboro, 16-0.

Finally, we introduce a new team in the Super 7. At No. 7, Haverford has won three in a row and is tied for 16th place in the District One Class AAAA power rankings with Ridley. The Fords shut out Radnor, 21-0.

Episcopal Academy falls out after a disappointing, 21-13 loss at home to Germantown Academy.

 

 

District One Power Rankings: Week 8

AAAA

School

W-L

PTS

AVG

1

Pennsbury

7-0

930

132.9

2

Coatesville

7-0

910

130.0

3

Quakertown

7-0

870

124.3

4

Henderson

6-1

850

121.4

5

WC Rustin

6-1

830

118.6

6

C. B. South

6-1

820

117.1

7

Council Rock – N

5-2

810

115.7

8

Upper Dublin

6-1

800

114.3

9

Downingtown – E

5-2

780

111.4

10

Pennridge

5-2

740

105.7

11

Downingtown – W

5-2

730

104.3

T12

Garnet Valley

6-1

720

102.9

T12

Perk Valley

6-1

720

102.9

T14

Conestoga

5-2

710

101.4

T14

Unionville

5-2

710

101.4

T16

Haverford

5-2

670

95.7

T16

Ridley

5-2

670

95.7

18

North Penn

4-3

650

92.9

T19

Truman

4-3

630

90.0

T19

Abington

3-4

630

90.0

21

Methacton

4-3

620

88.6

T22

Council Rock – S

4-3

610

87.1

T22

Spring-Ford

4-3

610

87.1

T22

Neshaminy

3-4

610

87.1

25

C. B. East

3-4

590

84.3

26

Ply-Whitemarsh

4-3

580

82.9

T27

Boyertown

4-3

540

77.1

T27

Upper Darby

3-4

540

77.1

29

Cheltenham

4-3

530

75.7

AAA

School

W-L

PTS

AVG

1

Springfield – D

7-0

970

138.6

2

Great Valley

6-1

850

121.4

3

Pottsgrove

5-2

740

105.7

4

Academy Park

5-2

730

104.3

5

Bishop Shanahan

4-3

710

101.4

6

Upper Moreland

5-2

650

92.9

7

Marple Newtown

4-3

640

91.4

8

Octorara

4-3

610

87.1

9

Glen Mills

3-4

580

82.9

10

Radnor

3-4

560

80.0

11

Interboro

3-4

550

78.6

AA

School

W-L

PTS

AVG

1

Bristol

6-1

760

108.6

2

Valley Forge MA

4-2

490

81.7

3

Springfield – M

3-4

570

81.4

4

New Hope

2-4

400

66.7

A

School

W-L

PTS

AVG

1

Calvary Christian

5-1

660

110.0

2

Delco Christian

4-2

580

96.7

3

Kipp-Dubois

3-4

570

81.4

T4

Bishop McDevitt

3-4

560

80.0

T4

Jenkintown

3-4

560

80.0

Delco Coaches Association Week 7 MVPs

Upper Darby QB Christoff Minott earned Central League MVP honors for the third time this season.

Here are the league MVPs voted upon at the Delco Coaches Association meeting Monday night.

CENTRAL LEAGUE: Christoff Minott, QB, Upper Darby

DEL VAL LEAGUE: Dante Ghee, DE, Academy Park

INDEPENDENTS (Inter-Ac, Catholics, Delco Christian, Sun Valley): Dox Aitken, DB, Haverford School

Full list of award winners will appear in TUESDAY’s edition of the Daily Times.

 

Info on Bonner’s 1994 Team Reunion

Here is the email I received regarding this weekend’s reunion of Bonner’s 1994 Catholic League championship team:

———

Monsignor Bonner Football Alumni, families and friends are invited to celebrate the 20-year reunion of Bonner’s last championship football team, the 1994 Catholic League Champs, on Saturday, October 11th, 2014.

The festivities will commence with a pre-game tailgate before Head Coach Greg Bernhardt leads Bonner-Prendie vs. Neumann-Goretti at 2 p.m.at U.D. High School.  Following the game, join family and friends at Casey’s Restaurant, Drexel Hill to reminisce and catch up with former teammates and coaches.

Reserve tickets for you and your family in advance for $40.00 per person, which includes food and drink specials.  All proceeds to benefit the Bonner-Prendie Football Program.

To reserve tickets and for more information contact any of the following:

 

Super 7: Week 7

1. Haverford School (4-1)

2. Garnet Valley (5-1)

3. Springfield (6-0)

4. Bonner-Prendergast (6-0)

5. Ridley (4-2)

6. Academy Park (4-2)

7. Episcopal Academy (4-2)

In The Picture/Under Consideration: Haverford (4-2), Interboro (3-3), Marple Newtown (4-2), Upper Darby (3-3)

It’s sort of rare to see every team in the Super 7 actually win in the same week. You’d think it would happen more than it does. The 5-7 spots are normally volatile, as we’ve seen plenty in the past.

This week, though, there are no changes. Surprise, surprise.

The top four teams are legit No. 1 contenders. You can make a case for all of them. I’m sure fans of each school are wondering what the heck I’m thinking by not making their team No. 1 in the Super 7. I understand the frustration.

Hey, that’s what the Super 7 is here for — to react and debate.

I just couldn’t justify putting Garnet Valley (50-6 winners over Lower Merion) and Springfield (47-7 winners over Strath Haven) ahead of The Haverford School (4-1), which dismantled a very powerful Roman Catholic team. The Fords have wins against Archbishop Ryan, Downingtown East and now Roman. I saw them way back in August against West Catholic, which won 24-19. I remember thinking at the time the Fords would be just fine come the second week of October for the start of Inter-Ac competition. You have to believe coach Mike Murphy’s team is the favorite to win it all this year, but I think the league is as challenging as it’s been in several years.. Springside Chestnut Hill, Penn Charter and Episcopal Academy all have at least four wins. Malvern Prep’ (2-3) is not even included and many believed they were the team to beat in August!

Springfield and Garnet Valley will meet next week in what is shaping up to be the biggest game in the Central League. If you think Springfield should be ahead of GV, I’d have no problem with that. We’ll know for sure after next Friday, though.

Bonner-Prendergast came back to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat Archbishop Ryan. The Friars, too, are very much in the running for the No. 1 spot. This is a very dangerous team. It’s a shame they have to contend with Archbishop Wood, which to no one’s surprise is the heavy favorite to win the Catholic League AAA and perhaps another state title.

Ridley stays at No. 5 despite a remarkable come-from-behind win at home against Upper Darby. After a tough 2013, the Green Raiders should be feared again.

Academy Park and Episcopal Academy deserve to be higher, too. The Knights destroyed Chichester, 37-7, to open the Del Val League schedule. They are starting to put things together as they head to South Avenue Complex to play Interboro Friday night (that;s th game of the week in Delco). Meanwhile, the Churchmen recovered nicely from last week’s brutal loss to Roman Catholic by winning a wild, 35-28 decision over New Jersey prep power Lawrenceville. EA opens the Inter-Ac portion of its schedule against Germantown Academy.

 

Fab 5: Bonner-Prendie wins in walkoff style

Now until the end of the season Delcofootball.com will highlight some of the top performances from the weekend that was. Note, this is not a ranking.

1. Bonner-Prendergast: Well, you can’t say the Friars like to play things conservatively. When you’re 5-0 and have the confidence and “swag” to pull it off, you go for it. The scenario: Bonner  trailed 20-7 in the second half. Collin DiGalbo, the best comeback quarterback in Delco over the last two years (re: the epic PCL playoff game against O’Hara in 2013), brought the Friars all the way back and left Archbishop Ryan in a state of shock. DiGalbo hooked up with Tyler Higgins for the winning touchdown and two-point conversion with no time left in regulation.  Joe Hartley-Vittoria had a touchdown run to bring B-P to within seven points early in the fourth quarter. The Friars needed a statement win. This was it.

2. Adrian Sapnas, RB, Marple Newtown: He did it again. The senior rushed for 255 yards in a victory over Radnor, the Tigers’ fourth of the season (they had three all of last year, by the way). Sapnas is only the third running back in Delco history to have three games of at least 250 rushing yards in a season. He’s the first RB in the county this year to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau.

3. Tre Hinchey, LB … and the entire Ridley defense: Buoyed by Malik Young’s 169 yards rushing and two TDs, the offense certainly played a big role in bringing the Green Raiders back from the dead Friday night against Upper Darby.

Ah, but what about the defense? They were the true stars of the game.

Hinchey had three sacks, including a safety in the fourth quarter. DE Mike Cropper chipped in with two sacks. Christian Dunn (who also caught a touchdown pass) and Gene Gibbons (interception) excelled in the defensive secondary. Todd Parker recovered a key fumble. The Green Raiders roared all the way back from a 14-0, second-quarter deficit to claim their third consecutive win.

4. Max Ferguson, RB, Cardinal O’Hara: The senior amassed 226 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lions to their first win of the year. Make no mistake, this was a team effort, but it’s difficult to imagine O’Hara coming out on top without Ferguson. It was nice to see O’Hara finally get in the win column in what has  been an emotionally draining season.

5. Phil Poquie, RB, Haverford School: Well, there’s no question as to which team is the best in the county. The Fords manhandled one of the Catholic League’s strongest teams, Roman Catholic, and Poque (174 yards, two TDs) had a huge part in it.